Barnes to play baseball at Wiley College

Published 12:01 am Thursday, August 7, 2014

VIDALIA — Devin Barnes contemplated throwing in the towel on his baseball career at Arkansas Baptist College after tearing his meniscus his freshman year in 2012.

After four months of rehabilitation and a return to the diamond at Arkansas Baptist in 2013, the Vidalia High School alumnus will sign a scholarship to play baseball with Wiley College as a sophomore. Two years ago, none of this seemed like a possible outcome for Barnes.

“I really just wanted to quit,” Barnes said. “I talked to my brother (Trey Barnes) and he said, ‘This is the only thing you love. You have to keep it going.’”

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With an opportunity to play at a four-year program in Marshall, Texas, Barnes is relieved he didn’t give up.

Barnes, who was talking to Grambling State about a potential roster spot, was in search of a solid commitment to continue his playing career. His friend Eric Magee, who works out at Trey’s baseball academy in Alexandria, told Wiley’s head coach about Barnes. Wiley’s coaching staff reached out to Barnes and offered him a visit. Following the visit with his father, Barnes felt drawn to give his commitment.

“I prayed about it, and I really feel like Wiley is where God wanted me to be,” Barnes said.

Through his playing experience at Arkansas Baptist, Barnes said he has rubbed elbows with players who have taken their opportunities for granted, something he said he would never do.

“This is a dream come true,” Barnes said. “I used to talk to all of my friends in little league, and that’s all we wanted to do was play college baseball. Not many people get this opportunity. I cherish it.”